James Shaw attack: New Zealand climate change minister punched in face while walking to work


New Zealand’s climate change minister has been attacked on the street whereas on his approach to the nation’s parliament.

James Shaw, who can also be co-leader of the nation’s Green Party, stated he was punched within the face by a person early on Thursday morning as he walked previous Wellington’s Botanic Backyard on his approach to work.

The person reportedly began speaking to him earlier than grabbing him and punching him a number of instances, in keeping with Mr Shaw’s press secretary, Peter Stevens.

Mr Stevens stated two folks stopped to assist, however the assailant jumped right into a car and drove away.

Mr Shaw suffered a black eye and grazes on his wrist.

Police stated a 47-year-old man was arrested and has been charged with injuring with intent.

He is because of seem in courtroom on Friday and faces a most of 5 years in jail if discovered responsible.

New Zealand’s prime minister Jacinda Ardern stated she spoke with Mr Shaw quickly after the assault and he’d informed her he was doing advantageous. She informed him to take no matter time he wanted to get well and that her ideas have been with him and his spouse.

“If you go into politics in New Zealand you simply don’t anticipate this stuff to occur, and I do know will probably be particularly difficult for family members,” Ms Ardern stated in an announcement.

She stated she was unable to provide additional particulars of the assault because it was now the topic of a police investigation.

“We have now an atmosphere in New Zealand the place politicians are accessible, and that’s one thing we should always really feel pleased with,” Ms Ardern stated. “We’re, in any case, right here to serve folks. However right this moment’s occasions actually present we can’t take that with no consideration.”

New Zealand has had only a few cases of politically motivated crimes or terrorism in fashionable historical past.

Amongst politicians, sometimes solely the prime minister will get round the clock safety from the Diplomatic Safety Service, whereas others may get short-term safety throughout election campaigns or when wanted.

Mr Stevens, the press secretary, stated Shaw was strolling along with his headphones on listening to music when the person approached. The attacker appeared to recognise Mr Shaw, he stated, however the dialog was transient and unclear. He stated Mr Shaw had requested the person to let go of him earlier than he was punched.

“He’s feeling a bit tender and a bit shaken up,” Mr Stevens stated.

Mr Stevens stated Mr Shaw was very grateful for the individuals who helped intervene and for police and ambulance crews who arrived shortly.

Extra reporting by AP

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